International Conference - Workshop Summaries

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The following are brief descriptions of the workshops to be held during the International Refugee Rights Conference, organized according to CCR Working Group areas.

Overseas Protection and Resettlement

Durable Solutions: Addressing the Challenge of Low Global Resettlement Numbers

The focus of this workshop is on new approaches to offset the gap of extremely scarce resettlement opportunities for refugees. It will examine how traditional resettlement countries and emerging resettlement countries can use various models such as family reunification, student scholarships and labour mobility.

Global Compacts – Opportunities and Challenges

This workshop focuses on the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Eastern Africa (with a focus on Tanzania). Participants will engage in an intersectoral exploration of opportunities and challenges of the CRRF which aims at providing greater support to refugees and host countries.

Addressing Gender-based Violence: The Role of Local Women’s Leadership

Gender-based violence increases during displacement. Local women’s networks and organizations are embedded in communities. They understand and respond to root causes. Come learn about their important work, the challenges they face being recognized as legitimate actors in humanitarian responses and new research and toolkits on the topic.

Speaking Out for Invisible People – Strategies for Ending Statelessness in Situations of Forced Displacement

This workshop will bring together different stakeholders involved in the fight to end statelessness in order to share experiences and knowledge. We will determine some specific strategies that they and UNHCR can undertake together in order to advocate more effectively for the right to nationality for all, and in particular for forcibly displaced people.

Sharing Refugee Sponsorship Experiences

Participants at this workshop will share across borders the ways refugee sponsorship by civil society contributes to the resettlement landscape, the challenges in refugee sponsorship, and strategies to increase its capacity to support States’ efforts.

Review of the Role of the UNHCR

This workshop aims to review the role of the UNHCR in global refugee protection and assistance. The workshop will focus on the appeal for a “whole of society approach” also involving other humanitarian and development actors in global refugee issues.

Immigration and Settlement

Economic and Social Rights of Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants: Good Practices

This workshop will look at some current global initiatives to advance economic and social rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants. It will consider how grassroots groups, NGOs and other actors can collaborate to advocate for protecting and strengthening such rights.

“As Far as Possible?” – Access to Secure Citizenship for Refugees

Article 34 of the Refugee Convention commits States to facilitate the naturalization of refugees. This workshop will take a critical look at the application in practice, looking at commendable steps to naturalize refugees and arbitrary barriers that impede naturalization. Participants will explore implications, innovations and best practices that should inform citizenship advocacy.

Refugees and Migrants as Resilient Champions

This workshop will highlight the strengths and resiliency that refugees and vulnerable migrants bring to resettlement countries, and innovative and promising practices to welcome and support refugees and vulnerable migrants’ settlement and integration into the community. Priority discussion will focus on youth, foreign credential assessment, and civic engagement.

Creating Welcoming Communities

This workshop will explore how communities can effectively welcome refugees.

Trauma and Rehabilitation Process of Displaced People

This workshop will look into the root causes of trauma and its impacts, and share global best practices in the healing support and care.

Finding Common Ground – Promoting Positive Public Opinion of Refugees Through Innovative Myth-busting and Community Collaboration

This interactive workshop will highlight examples of city-based myth-busting and public engagement campaigns from around the world. Participants will leave the workshops with tools to help inspire their own efforts to help boost positive public opinion of refugees and other newcomers with municipal partners.

Inland Protection

Pushing the Border Out: Challenging Refugee Interdiction and Containment Policies

This workshop will provide an overview of global and local interdiction policies and practices aimed at intercepting migrants en route to claim refugee status containment policies that trap them. Presenters and participants will share positive examples of pushback against interdiction and externalization of borders, encouraging collaborative advocacy efforts across borders.

Immigration Detention

This workshop will provide an opportunity to share strategies for reducing immigration detention.

Creating an ‘Ideal Global Prototype’ for Refugee Status Determination

Bringing together elements of the ‘best of the best’ models of Refugee Status Determination (RSD) globally, this workshop will present an ideal prototype for discussion and potential ‘adoption’ as a new international standard.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)

This workshop will explore aspects related to the protection of refugees fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, witih a focus on the recommendations from Yogyakarta+10. Participants will explore how  refugee protection mechanisms and services within settlement organizations can better respond to individuals with diverse SOGIE, using a human rights lens. The workshop will also aim to enhance an international network around SOGIE.

Post-deportation Monitoring

This interactive workshop will provide an overview of some of the challenges faced by refugees upon deportation and by organizations assisting them on return. It will also explore how through global networking we can better monitor experiences post-deportation.

Security Vetting/Admissibility: Getting It Right

This panel will consider the need to ‘get it right’ in the security vetting of refugees; for resettlement and in the asylum process; and consider the human cost of vetting on refugees.  The panel will review the international law and human rights framework which must be applied and reflect on best practices as well as examples of where and how unfair practices have been challenged.

Topics covering more than one working group

Overcoming Barriers to Family Reunification: International Standards and Comparative Perspectives

This workshop will identify legal and practical barriers to family reunification in Canada (e.g. long processing time, excluded family members, etc.), discuss international standards on family reunification, and present examples of how other countries are successful in addressing their own barriers and obstacles.

The Indispensability of Binding Faith Communities Across Borders

This workshop will look at how faith-based communities can leverage their unique advantage, learn from current models of success and consider “faith v. advocacy”: can they work in tandem or are they separate by necessity?

Children’s Rights

This workshop will look at a variety of issues concerning children refugees and refugee claimants, including issues such as detention of children; protection for unaccompanied children; the rights of children at different stages of the migration and determination processes.

Effective Protection: Comparison of State Responses

This workshop will examine different state responses to mass displacement, and in particular the different statuses given those fleeing Venezuela, North of Central America, and Middle East/North Africa by neighbouring countries in the Americas and Europe.

Labour Trafficking: Legal Frameworks and Approaches Across Borders 

This workshop will explore ways labour trafficking is framed in different countries and how the framing contributes to vulnerability or protection of rights. It will also examine promising approaches across borders in relation to advocacy and protection.

This Place Means to Me: Displacement, Youth and Identities

This workshop will explore the complex relationship between identities and the state’s institutional power, focusing on the effects of processes of marginalization of “undesirable” identities on the lives of refugees and indigenous youth.